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EricSan

Field dressing tips?

35 posts in this topic

New hunter here going with my brother that hasn't hunted in 15yrs and need some instructions/tips on gutting our deer. Hope not to make too big of a mess out of it but being its my first time I need SOME direction. Are you suppose to try and drain some of the blood before cutting it open? Thanks!!!

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EricSan,

My sugestion is to have some one show you. Writing about it is togh but I will try.

Step By Step:

1) Make sure the animal has expired, roll up your sleeves and remove your watch.

2) Lay it over on it's back and place a log or something on each side to keep it on its back.

3) Find the spot dead center at the bottom of the rib cage

4) Take a sharp knife and cut down from the bottom of the ribs to the genatals. Be cautious not to cut deeper then needed to open the abdomin cavity. Too deep will smell and make a mess.

5) Carefully cut around the genatals on a buck and the milk sack on a doe and remove them. Again be care full not to cut too deep and puncture the bladder.

6) Now back to the ribs and cut the ribs open right down the middle. Be carfull and pratice knife control as you will have to put a lot of pressure on the knife to cut them open. Cut right up to the neck.

7) Now following the down the sides of the ribs cut the lungs, heart and diaphram away from the body.

8) Now the fun part. Grab a hold of the diaphram and litterally rip out the entrails pulling twards the rear legs. Pull the stuff a good distance away so you are not kneeling in it for the next steps.

9) There will be some stuff still connected between the legs in the crotch area. Use you knife and carefull cut away all the attachments in the area taking care not to rupture the bladder.

10) Using your knife or a saw split the pelvic bone exposing the cavity where the lower intestine provides a poopy exit.

11) Cut away the remaining part of the lower intestine.

12) now I raise the head and front legs as high as I can to allow the excess blood to drain out and rinse with water.

13) If there is snow available I like to put some in the chest cavity to cool the carcas a little quicker.

I hope this helps you out.

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I would also recommand a sagan(sp) saw I got one and it works like a charm.

I hope for your first one you make a clean shot (lung, heart, other vitals) the first one can be messy enough especially if you guy shot it....

On this note, I may post a new thread, but has anyone tried to use on of those "new" Deer-eer-eere tools? I am just wondering if it would be worth investing $10 bucks in?

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i'd say that covers it. A little secret my uncle the surgeon taught me will help out a tad;

find the end of the sternum (the wide center bone of the rib cage) and cut just to either side of it, cut the cartilage NOT the bone. it will be way easier to cut and will not have nasty sharp bones when you reach in to take out the windpipe and stuff.

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Good instructions, but I add a slight modification that I think helps quite a bit.

(2.5) Carefully trim away the skin around the genitals (anus+penis for buck, anus+vagina for doe)without cutting into any of the tubes. Pull back the skin enough so that you can pull these organs out a bit and tightly tie a string around them. The purpose of this is to keep any urine or poop from leaking out. Tie it tightly.

This will eliminate step(10). When you pull out the entrails you should be able to pull out the entire tube from diaphragm to anus without cutting into any of the thigh meat. It may take a little trimming here and there to get it to pull cleanly (be careful!), but it keeps the meat cleaner and nicer IMHO.

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Thanks to everyone for the tips! I guess there is no better way to learn than to just dig in!! I think some friends will be nearby too so I might try to connect with them so they can 'supervise' while I am doing it!! Good Luck to Everyone!!!!

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and if you forget all this a good rule of thumb is to just cut off all the stuff you really don't feel like eating.

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Well said!! grin.gif

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The way I like to cut that hide in the stomach area is to make a small hole and the get two fingers in there to pull up and away from the organs then just slide your knife (edge away from your fingers) in between your fingers (which are under the hide at the spot and depth you want to cut) and glide it along the hide. This keeps you from cutting into those smelly organs.

Also another tip, ALWAYS cut from under the hair out (aftery you make the initial cut), this prevents hair from getting cut and getting all over sticking to the meat and making a mess.

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Just to add to your steps that are very good. Before I make any cuts into the guts I cut through the hid and peel the hide back and get it out of my way. It just takes a few extra minutes but it take away a lot of the extra hair that seems to get everywhere. Other then that everything else is the same. I also use the two finger method to keep from cutting to deep. Awesome post!!!! Will see if the wife is up to cutting her's this year. Another thing I do with the pelvic bone I cut on each side and pull the bone right out then I'm not pulling the icky stuff through a hole. Thanks

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This is how I do it and it is the fastest way I have found to do it.

1. Grab the pecker and cut it off all the way down to the base just above the pelvis and remove or for a doe grab the teets and cut above them down to the pelvis.

2. Cut around the anus and use a sagin saw to cut the pelvis get the poop chute loose so the it is free to remove once everything else is ready.

3. Next you will have a hole between the hide and the guts. Insert your fingers and use them to guide the blade of your knife above the guts cut all the way up to the rib cage if you are going to mount it stop otherwise go off the the side of the center of the chest and pop the ribs as far as you can.

4. Begain removing the diapram and reach inside and cut the windpipe on the backbone. You are now ready to peel everything out.

5. Grab the lung wind pipe and start to pull towards the rear of the animal remove the remaining diapram and tendons that attach every thing and pull everything all the way out of the back of the deer there may need to be some more cutting around the anus but it should peel right out. No need to tie anything off as you pull it all right out.

5 easy step is all you need. I guess if you call removing the tenderloins out then it would be 6. If you do everything right it should only take you 5 minute to dress out your animal.

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[Note from admin: Please read forum policy before posting again. Thank you.]

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I have seen deer gutted the way everyone is talking about. However, I do NOT cut open the pelvic area. This will cause some of the best meat to be exposed to excess bacteria. Also, unless you have a bambi it is difficult to split the entire rib cage. It is not that tough to just reach in and get all the chest cavity cleaned out from below the rib cage. My advice, buy the processing video by Hesselgrave. He does a nice job of explaining everything from after the trigger is pulled.

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Good list, great tips.

1st remove your coat(hang on a nearby tree - orange)

put on RUBBER GLOVES and roll up your sleeves

If by myself I hold the deer's hind legs behind my knees (squatting).

Cut the EXACT center of the pubic/pelvic bone, palpate(feel with your fingertips) for the cartilage center and using the point of your knife split the bone. Very small amount of meat exposed doing it this way.

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Our group never cuts throats, but I know a lot of people do. Does anyone know why they do this?

DD

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One thing I'd like to add. Don't overlook some of the meat found in the entrails. I don't personally keep the liver because deer liver can be notorious for containing flukes but I do like to keep the heart if I haven't hit it with the shot. Rinse out as much as possible and slice thin. Fry in bacon fat or your favorite sauce like Wors...Worches...however you spell the sauce or butter, etc. Can be very good if not overcooked.

Bob

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Quote:

Our group never cuts throats, but I know a lot of people do. Does anyone know why they do this?

DD


To get the esophagus out. I just reach through the chest cavity and cut it. smirk.gif

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I have thought that many believe it is important to bleed the animal out. Unfortunately this is ineffective since the animal's heart is no longer pumping.

I suppose it may be somewhat possible if the animal is hung to allow gravity to help but even then I doubt it is very effective.

Bob

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My father in law told me when you cut the esophogus it allows better movement of air and cools the meat faster. The closer to the head the better. I have looked over a lot of websites and seen many a video. They all cut it.

I never paid attention as to why they do, I just figured that it had to be done.

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Take it easy. shocked.gif

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Seems immaterial since one is going to open them up within seconds. The time it takes to slice the throat one can almost have the belly open anyway.

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Ever since I read abut it a couple of years ago, I cut a small slit in the throat right in the middle of the white patch. Then stick my finger in there and isolate the esophagus and trachea. Give them a snip then pull the whole works all of the way out of the neck when removing the heart/lungs. It takes a little pulling, but gets everything out clean.

Before that, I used to reach in, pull down on the esophagus and cut up as high as I could. Many times I managed to cut myself doing this since you're pretty much working blind with cold fingers. After all the CWD talk, I don't like cutting myself inside a deer anymore. For me, it has nothing to do with bleeding, just making it easier to remove all the potential bacteria carrying stuff. I don't cut any veins, so there's no bleeding anyway.

However you do it, do it neatly and it'll be just fine. Just get the bad stuff out.

Craig

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I'm with you mntraveler, I don't cut the pelvis or ribs, that just exposes a lot of meat to dirt and crud while you're dragging, plus its tough to get the pelvis cut. The very first thing I do is cut around the bung hole and tie it off, then then make the main incision in the belly, pull all the guts, heart/lungs out, and then at the very end you can reach from the inside of the cavity, grab that string and intestine, and pull out from the inside. Cut off the sex organs, drag to truck, rinse out and hang when you get home, and prop open with a lathe. Piece of cake. I actually don't mind gutting deer, as long as its not gut shot - its the end of a successful hunt.

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I do the same thing that blackjack does only in a different order. I start off by cutting the sex organs/teats then make an incision from there up to the rib cage - I make a small incision I can get my fingers into and pull up the belly so I don't hit intestines. Then I cut all the way around the bingo hole/vagina and pull that out a little. Then I run my knife all around the hole to make sure to cut the fat and connective tissue around the bingo hole. Then I go on to remove the diaphragm and all that. When I am ready to pull everything out I grab the inside of the Large intestine and pull the bingo hole back through the pelvis - It should come pretty easy if not run your knife around again I will usually stick my knife all the way in to make sure it gets all the way through. Once you get that out pull everything like normal.

Its kinda hard to explain but once you do it a time or two it is way easier than splitting the pelvis. The hardest part is getting the cut started around the bingo hole the tissue is so soft you have to pull it out with your fingers to get your knife to start cutting it.

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